This might be considered sappy, but in all seriousness one of my first memories of downtown St. Louis is walking across the skybridge from the parking garage into the old Famous Barr in the Railway Exchange Building during our first visit to St. Louis Centre.
Fast forward almost forty years and St. Louis Centre has been gutted, turned into a bizarre parking garage, and the Railway Exchange is abandoned, trashed and increasingly looking like a set piece missed for the filming of Escape from New York.
The skybridge is being dismantled by the City of St. Louis itself, in the wake of the tragic death of a Fire Department search dog, bringing to an end a fixture of Olive Street that has loomed over the major one-way thoroughfare for generations.
The windows once famed for their Christmastime displays are now boarded up, the sleazy slumlord living out of town not having to bear witness to what his laissez faire capitalism has wrought on our city. I guess it’s safe to say that if even the Railway Exchange Building can end up like this, then any place in St. Louis can if we’re not careful.
The crumby parking garage to the south, soon to have its cord cut from its attached building, sits abandoned as well, with what looks to be evidence of a fire. I imagine it will probably be torn down one day.